It is fascinating the number of plants or flowers that are cultivated worldwide, which enjoy nutritional wealth, with multiple healing and even medicinal properties, making their demand and cultivation more than necessary.
In this article we will meet a component of one of those crops, the so- called poppy seeds , where we will learn about its healthy content and the benefits it provides.
What are poppy seeds?
Poppy seeds are obtained from the plant of the same name, whose scientific term has been “Papaver rhoeas”, which is an annual herbaceous type, used in the area of medicine and perfumery.
Both poppy seeds and the plant itself are widely distributed worldwide, due to the great contribution of micronutrients that the body requires, these can be added to different diets, therefore the seeds are relevant in nutrition, it also has some grams of morphine codeine (used in medicine).
Note: As mentioned in a study “Other uses of Papaver rhoeas are animal feed, as a condiment, edible and different medicinal uses (for the respiratory system, digestive system, muscles, etc. )”. (1)
Properties of poppy seeds
Are poppy seeds really as amazing as they say? This is justified thanks to its numerous properties, which are found in abundance within them. These are the main and most important ones to know:
1. Vitamins and minerals
These seeds have a high mineral degree, where zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and even phosphorus stand out , let’s remember that they are necessary for the growth and development of the organism.
Among the group of vitamins, we can find that it is divided into; vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C, mainly act as an antioxidant (which is different from group B vitamins), however they have other benefits individually and of great importance.
Important: Relevant information mentions that “Vitamins are a group of organic nutrients necessary in small amounts for various biochemical functions that, in general, cannot be synthesized in the body and, consequently, must be found in the diet” . (two)
2. Other components
Poppy seeds are also a source of other quite nutritious properties, among which we can find food or dietary fiber, certain unsaturated essential fatty acids and proteins, approximately 18 grams, per 100 g of poppy seed consumption.
These components cannot be ruled out since they are essential for organs such as the intestine , control the increase in bad cholesterol, the amount of sugar in the blood and other energetic and healthy factors for the body, which will be studied below.
What benefits do poppy seeds have?
Getting to know the main properties , it is also important to know what benefits they can bring to the human body, especially in certain very relevant conditions. Therefore, we present the benefits of poppy seeds:
1. They promote cardiovascular health
Little care towards cardiovascular health can lead to quite dangerous heart conditions , involving the heart organ and other important means such as arteries, blood pressure and proper blood flow.
It is known that the nutrients or components that largely favor cardiovascular health are vitamins with antioxidant characteristics (from A, E and C) that also prevent the formation of free radicals, as does calcium, which It has a hypocholesterolemic effect (cholesterol control), noting that all these elements are contained in poppy seeds.
Note: It is of great importance to know the following “In the world, every four seconds an acute myocardial infarction occurs and every five seconds a cerebral vascular event, and at least one in three people loses their lives due to a pathology related to cardiovascular diseases ” . (3)
2. They boost the immune system
The immune system is the body’s best defense against viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms that lodge in the dermis or in the mucous walls , entering and expanding throughout our body.
You should know: To boost the immune system, the body requires a large portion of vitamins (antioxidants that are in the seeds) , as well as zinc and iron, which prevent tissue degradation or cell oxidation in general, avoiding the appearance of toxic organisms.
3. They improve digestive health
Intestinal transit is of the utmost importance for our body, important organs such as the intestines and even the stomach are involved in it, which transform nutrients into energy for the body.
Therefore, being the organ that breaks down nutrients, a healthy diet is required, rich in various vitamins or minerals (including fatty acids among others) which are present in poppy seeds and also favor digestive health, dilating the mucous walls and providing fiber (which prevents constipation).
4. They strengthen the bones
Skeletal strengthening is essential for our body, thus even degrading conditions of the same are prevented, such as osteoporosis, rickets or bone cancer.
Note: What mainly helps the growth, strengthening and development of bones, are minerals such as iron contained in poppy seeds , although there are also other relevant ones found in the bone structure, such as phosphate and calcium, which confer resistance and are stored within the bone.
5. Reduce cramps and muscle pain
These states related to muscle tissue are more than frequent, the cramp is closely related to the lack of minerals and therefore leads to a muscle contraction, sometimes the same thing happens with injuries or traumas.
To highlight: The presence in poppy seeds of potassium, calcium and magnesium prevents these sudden appearances of muscle pain. Why? Simply put, compounds such as magnesium maintain the proper functioning of muscle tissue and its nerve branches, while potassium and calcium help in their contraction and are stored within.
6. They combat states of anemia
States of anemia are characterized by being present in a body with blood or oxygen deficiency, which generates extreme fatigue or weakness in general, being a symptom of vitamin or mineral deficiency.
In this sense, poppy seeds contain iron, which is a main nutrient capable of helping the development of red blood cells (complemented by vitamin B12 and folic acid present in other foods) and also the maximum production of hemoglobin, this serves to combat and prevent states of anemia.
7. They improve the quality of sleep
Many people come to suffer from occasional insomnia or have certain problems to be able to sleep fully, sometimes caused by agitated moments (anxiety states), where rapid heartbeat or tense muscles are frequent.
Note: The properties obtained in poppy seeds help prevent these problems, in order to improve sleep in people. How does it happen? Infusions with poppy seeds can act as natural sedatives , which lower muscle tension and relax the nervous system.
8. They promote skin health
The antioxidant properties of poppy seeds protect the immune system, therefore they favor other environments around it, especially its base, which is human skin (the dermis layer), in which many microorganisms can be housed . .
In this sense, the antioxidant mechanisms of poppy seeds prevent damage to the dermis, eliminating toxic agents , but on the other hand they also favor skin hydration, preventing premature aging and accelerating the healing process.
How can poppy seeds be consumed?
Poppy seeds can be consumed in very basic ways, the first is through the seeds, which are used in baked goods, in juices or smoothies, they can also be sprinkled on hot and typical dishes, it is your free choice.
The second method is with an infusion with seeds, similar to that of a tea , in this case no more than a tablespoon of poppy seeds should be used, but you can prepare it at any time of the day and mix it with other types of herbs (such as tea leaves).
- Poppy seeds are from the “Papaver rhoeas” .
- Poppy seeds are high in protein , various nutrients, and dietary fiber.
- The benefits of the seeds are in favor of bone structure, muscle tissue and the immune system.
- They can be consumed only with the seed added to different food preparations (breads, juices, meals) or through a hot or warm infusion.